Fact Check

Lancaster High School Beating

A football player at Lancaster High School severely beat a gay student but was not charged with a crime?

Published Sep 28, 2012

Claim:   A football player at Lancaster High School severely beat a gay student but was not charged with a crime.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2012]

This is all over the internet today. Is this true?

Yesterday a 17 year female, who attends Lancaster High School in California, was beaten by a football player, on school grounds, for being gay. After receiving over a dozen blows to her jaw, head, eye and head, all he received was a 5 day suspension by the Lancaster School District. She suffered from a fractured jaw and multiple concussions to the head and the Deputy Sheriff advised her mother to re-think her wanting to file charges against the football player because her daughter pushed him back. The school ended up documenting "assault" charges on the victims school file, NOT the football players!!! To make things worse, the Deputy Sheriff warned the victim, by saying, "Just so you know, if you file charges against him, I'm taking his side." We're attempting to raise awareness and bring this story to light because Lancaster High School is trying to sweep this "Hate Crime" under the rug! Like if you care and please forward to everyone you know.

FYI : CBS, KCAL 9 news are running the story tomorrow at 10pm


Origins:   According to a report by Deputy Mike Rust with the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the basis of the account described was not a case of gay-bashing resulting in serious injuries, but of a fight that broke out between two Lancaster High School students (one male and one female) on 25 September 2012 over a cafeteria line-cutting incident, which left one of the participants with minor injuries and ended with both students' being arrested and suspended:

Shortly after noon on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who is assigned as a School Resource Deputy at Lancaster High School (located at 44701 32nd Street West, Lancaster) was on campus when he heard about a fight near the cafeteria area.

The deputy immediately went to the cafeteria area and saw a large group of students. School security was detaining at least two students.

School security personnel told the deputy that the two students had been fighting so the deputy began an investigation into the incident.

The investigation, which included talking to many student witnesses, revealed that the two students had been part of a large group of

students who were all standing in a lunch line in the cafeteria area.

The 15-year old male student (suspect/victim) had complained to a female student about her cutting into the line, instead of waiting.

A 17-year old female student (suspect/victim) who was standing nearby, heard the 15-year old telling the female student not to cut into line. The 17-year old female rushed over to the 15-year old male and pushed his chest, causing him to fall back and strike his back against a metal handrail. Believing he had just been pushed by a male student, the 15-year old punched the 17-year old in the face. The two students then exchanged several punches until the fight was broken up by school security.

Both the 15-year old male student and 17-year old female student were arrested by the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station deputy for fighting on school grounds, a "mutual combat" misdemeanor battery, 243.2 of the California Penal Code.

The deputy reported that the 15-year old did not appear injured and the 17-year old received a small laceration to her lip. Both refused medical treatment at the school.

The deputy immediately notified the parents of both of the students, and released each of them to the custody of the parents.

Both students were suspended by the school.

Deputy Rust provided additional details reported by the Antelope Valley News:

The scuffle began shortly after noon when a student let someone cut in line. The 14-year-old boy told the girl she shouldn't do that. After words were exchanged, her friend, a 17-year-old girl, pushed the young boy backwards causing him to fall over the railing, said Deputy Michael Rust.

Another student stopped his fall. Suddenly the two girls began to punch the younger student. The girl who pushed the boy was dressed as and appeared to be a boy and was more than 20 pounds heavier than the young boy, Rust said.

The young boy defended himself and fought back, thinking he had been attacked by another boy. After a couple of punches were thrown, the school security arrived and stopped the fight. The school's deputy from the Lancaster Sheriff's Station cited the two students and released them into the custody of their parents, Rust said.

"After he found out that it was a girl, he was very remorseful," Rust said.

Deputies are still interviewing the 40 students who witnessed the scuffle. However, so far all have agreed on what happened, Rust said.

Meanwhile, a flurry of false statements about what happened by people who live as far away as Kansas have bombarded the internet. The school, the sheriff's station and local news media have been flooded with calls from people asking if the postings on Facebook and other social media sites are accurate.

The young man has received several threats against his life from people who have read the inaccurate statements and are unaware of the facts.

Last updated:   28 September 2012


    Paolinelli, Fran.   "Lancaster High School Fight Still Under Investigation."

    The A.V. News.   27 September 2012.

    LASD.   "Lancaster High School Fight Between Two students Results in Investigation, Arrests."

    27 September 2012.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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